Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Did you know this about Christopher Columbus?

Did you know that Columbus always saw Divine Providence as his daily guide, and, to him, coincidences became messages from God?

Did you know that Christopher Columbus was a devout Catholic who believed that God guided him to make his voyage?

Did you know that Christopher means “Christ-bearer” and Columbus means “male dove” (The symbol of the Holy Spirit), and that Columbus was convinced that his name predestined him to be a bearer of Christ to the world like his patron saint?

Did you know that his son, Ferdinand, noted that his father was extremely strict in religious matters and so devout that Columbus could be mistaken for a member of a religious order?

Did you know  that Christopher Columbus made a retreat before he sailed for the New World and that he sailed under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Spain?  

Did you know that it was the custom of Spanish sailors to sing the Salve Regina, a hymn in honor of the Blessed Mother, every night at about 7:00 P.M. after reciting their prayers together?

Did you know that Columbus usually prayed in his cabin, but on the night of October 11, 1492, the Admiral decided to sing the Salve Regina with his crew, and at 2:00 A.M. that very morning of October 12, land was discovered in the Bahamas?

Did you know that later that morning Columbus went on shore and claimed the land he had found for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, and named the small island San Salvador (which means “Holy Savior”) in honor of the Savior of the World?

Did you know that the full name of Columbus’s ship was the Santa Maria de la Imaculada Concepcion (Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception) and that the Americas were placed under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception?

Did you know that on Christmas Day, 1492, Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, had sunk on a sandbar off Santa Domingo (which means “Holy Lord”), and from the very timbers of the Santa Maria the sailors built the first settlement in the New World known as La Navidad (Spanish for “Christmas”)?

Did you know that on May 21, 1506, Columbus uttered his last words which echoed Christ’s on the cross:  “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”?  

The very next day was Ascension Thursday, when all the church bells throughout Europe sang joyfully Christ’s Ascension into heaven.  (Surely Columbus would have thought this another “coincidence” planned by God!)  

Joan Virzera

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